Podiatrist-Recommended Techniques to Release Your Feet with a Frozen Water Bottle

Rolling foot out with Frozen Water bottle

Got heel pain?  One of the most common at-home remedies for reducing foot pain is “rolling your foot on a frozen water bottle”.

Besides being convenient, how effective is this technique at reducing arch pain?

And is there a right and wrong way to release with a water bottle?

Podiatrist, Dr. Emily Splichal, shares her favorite ways to release the feet using a frozen water bottle and explains why it can be effective at reducing pain.  

Technique #1 – 15 Minute Freeze

Depending on how acute the foot pain is, ice can play a beneficial role in minimizing swelling and reducing the acute inflammatory cycle.  At the early onset of heel pain, Dr. Splichal recommends placing the foot on a frozen water bottle for 15 minutes. 

Depending on the severity of the pain, you can cycle 15 minutes on: 15 minutes off twice.

Do not exceed 15 minutes on the ice as it can sometimes lead to rebound swelling.

Technique #2 – Pin Point Release 
In addition to using the ice as an analgesic to reduce pain, it also acts as a great myofascial release tool.  After freezing a standard 16 oz water bottle, place the bottle on the floor and place one foot on the bottle.  

Start to apply pressure to various points in the heel and arch of the foot and hold for 30 seconds.   Be sure to work all areas of the foot for a total of 5 minutes.

Technique #3 – Roll & Release

 Another great way to release tension in the plantar fascia is to roll the foot on the frozen water bottle. This technique is great to do after the pin point release and can be done for a couple minutes several times a day.

Bonus Technique  – Ice Massage

A favorite bonus technique for using ice to reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis is an ice cup massage.  Place water in a small paper cup and freeze it.  Use the ice as a hand massage tool and work into any areas that at particularly painful or have tension.   

Remember to not exceed 15 minutes at a time.

Success Tips!

A few last tips to support success with the frozen water bottle include:

  • If your foot is too sensitive to the cold you can wear a sock or place a towel on the foot
  • Use a 16 oz water bottle and fill almost to the top with water
  • Perform the frozen water bottle release series at least 2x a day ever day for at least 1 week
  • Consistency is the most important aspect of successfully managing pain
If you find your heel pain persists after several weeks, consider seeing your local podiatrist for a for a thorough evaluation.

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